Speaker of Delta state House of Assembly, Mr. Peter Onwusanya has had his first ugly experience with the staff of the legislature, under the auspices of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Delta state chapter, as they embark on an indefinite strike over failure of the Assembly management to meet some pressing staff welfare needs.
PASAN is calling for the urgent replacement of the Clerk of the House, Lyna Ocholor and Secretary of the House of Assembly Service Commission, Mrs. Isioma Nwabuoku for allegedly denying staff of their welfare packages.
Members of the Association, has therefore sealed the Assembly premises ahead of the House resumption of plenary on January 20, 2015 after its Yuletide break.
But an earlier statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Patrick Nwanze, on behalf of the Speaker appealed to the striking Assembly workers to resume, claiming that Management has met sufficient part of their demand.
The statement made available to Blank NEWS Online on Wednesday, January 07, 2015 further described the call for removal of the Clerk as ill motivated with external influence.
“The outfit allowance which is only outstanding will be paid a few days time. The call for removal of Clerk is ill motivated and indicate external forces influencing the workers. There is no need for the strike now. The workers have enjoyed benefits now than before. Be assured that management will continue to give priority to workers welfare,” the statement said.
When Blank NEWS Online visited the state House of Assembly, located on Nnebisi road in ASABA on Thursday, January 08, 2015, aggrieved members of PASAN had set up a mock ‘Parliament’ at the entrance as a means of peaceful protest, just as the official vehicle of the Clerk had its tyres deflated.
The Public Relations Officer and Vice Chairman of PASAN, Comrades Afure Galaxy and Felix Egbejave, expressed disappointment over alleged claims by Speaker Onwusanya that the House has met 99 percent of the workers’ demands, describing the claim as pointless.
They said that staff welfare have been grossly neglected for over 10 years, alleging that monies appropriated for them have often times been diverted to other personal use by the leadership and management of the Delta state House of Assembly.
Meanwhile, a 15-point Communique dated 5th January, 2015 and signed by Comrades Mc Cartney Obrotu (Chairman) and Emmanuel Osubor (Organising Secretary) respectively on behalf of PASAN, insists that until their demands are met, the legislators would not be allowed to resume sitting.
Some of the demands listed in the Communiqué include payment of outstanding claims, allowances and imprests; training and retraining of staff; provision of departmental and Committee vehicles as well as unhindered assess to car and housing loans by staff among others.
According to aggrieved PASAN members, the strike action became a last resort after the leadership and management of the Delta state House of Assembly deliberately reneged in meeting with their demands.
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